ENDORPHINS: The Key to Effort and Focus in Children and Teens
Endorphins are natural chemicals produced in the body to reduce pain and boost happiness. They are most often associated with exercise since the release of these “feel-good” chemicals cause a state of euphoria and is usually known as a “runner’s high.” However, most any exercise, including Martial Arts, will cause this state of happiness – especially exercise that boosts laughter and excitement.
In recent years, studies involving endorphins have begun to focus on how Endorphins contribute to learning. Physical activity is essential to brain development. Basically, when we feel good, our learning becomes more fun and is thus, easier. Intellectually stimulating the brain when endorphins have been released, helps even more. For the last five years, neuroscientists have been encouraging parents and teachers to work on stimulating the good feeling chemicals in the brain. The mind-body connection is a powerful thing.
Physical activity fosters happiness, happiness improves learning, improved learning leads to increased knowledge, increased knowledge leads to more confidence and so on.
Here is an article from Jama Pediatrics that sites how the opposite is also true. Increased screen time and social media lead to depression and anxiety in our youth. Full study here: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/article-abstract/2737909